Special Collections Policies
Current Onsite Access to Special CollectionsSpecial Collections has compiled the attached procedures for onsite research requests from University of Alabama students, faculty, and staff in order to create a safe environment for researchers and Special Collections staff during the current public health and safety concerns resulting from COVID-19. At this time we are not open to the general public. See Special Collections Onsite Research Requests for more details. You can use these fillable forms when you make your request:
Access and Use Policy
OverviewThe University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections is committed to acquiring, processing, preserving, and making available primary sources and other rare materials that support the teaching and research missions of The University of Alabama. The specific policies and procedures listed below are created to fulfill these objectives.
AccessThe University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections is committed to providing open and equitable access to its collections in accordance with legal requirements, privacy considerations, donor agreements, and institutional policies. For more information on access policies for specific archival collections, please refer to the collection’s finding aid.
Use and ReproductionThe University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections provides photocopying, photographic reproduction, and digitization services to researchers for a fee. All duplication is done by Special Collections staff. For publication, presentations, commercial use, or reproduction, in print or digital format, of all images and/or the accompanying data, users are required to secure prior written permission from the copyright holder and from email@example.com. When permission is granted, please credit the images as Courtesy of The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections.
CopyrightResearchers are responsible for using Special Collections physical and digital materials in conformity with United States copyright law as well as any donor restrictions and institutional policies accompanying the materials. Copyright for official University records is held by The University of Alabama. The library claims only physical and digital ownership of many collections. For more information about copyright policy, please visit: https://www.ua.edu/copyright/.
Brief Summary of Reading Room Protocol
- Check in at the front desk and fill out our User Registration form completely. This form explains Reading Room Protocol in more detail.
- Place all personal belongings in the lockers provided. No bags, purses, briefcases or laptop cases are allowed in the reading room at any time.
- Paper, pencils and gloves are provided at the reading room desk. Pens are not permitted.
- Request forms should be filled out completely before materials are retrieved.
- Food and drinks are not permitted.
- Cell phones should be placed in the silent or vibrate position.
- Visitors under the age of 15 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to use the collections.
Reference ProtocolThe Division of Special Collections is committed to providing the best possible service to all its patrons. We prefer to receive reference requests via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We do, however, also take questions over the telephone at (205) 348-0500 (Hoole Library). When calling or writing, please provide your contact information, whether or not you have an affiliation with The University of Alabama, and a detailed explanation of your question. Questions that are deemed “research” – those that require more time or effort than we can reasonably make – will be declined. We may be able to provide you with a short list of independent researchers for your consideration if you are not able to visit us yourself. We respond to reference requests in the order that they are received. Please keep in mind that we receive numerous requests and we have limited staffing who work in this area. We appreciate your patience.
Reproduction Services and Associated FeesThe Division of Special Collections provides photocopying, photographic reproduction, and digitization services to researchers for a fee. All duplication is done by the Hoole Library or Williams Collection staff. Reproduction for research purposes is permitted, and we reserve the right to decline photocopying, photographic reproduction, and digitization orders due to copyright, confidentiality, or condition. We reserve the right to limit the use of our collections for commercial purposes. Formal permission is required for any commercial use or publishing/broadcasting for commercial or non-commercial purposes. All forms, requests, and queries are to be submitted to email@example.com for consideration.
PhotocopyingNeither the Hoole Library nor the Williams Collection has a public copier, and all copies are made by staff, with attention to handling of rare materials. We reserve the right to refuse photocopy service based on condition, confidentiality or copyright. Please complete the following photocopy request form to the best of your ability (including page numbers or folder numbers when possible) and return to us via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Note that microfilm copies, which are self-serve, are 10 cents a page.
Imaging and DigitizationAll requests for digitization require the completion of the form in order to proceed. If the image is for publication, a permission form will be required as well, and may require an additional commercial use fee. If you would like to use a digital camera in the reading room, review our digital camera use policy and complete the following form.
Digital Camera Use Policy
Do not take photographs without permission. Fill out the Digital Camera Use Form to obtain permission.